Sometimes when you read a book, you are not only transported into another world, but swaddled in the atmosphere, setting and lives of the characters you are introduced to. The world the novel encompasses you in is no longer a two-dimensional sphere on a page, but a tangible place that you can imagine without even closing your eyes. The book is an escape. A source of magic, of inspiration. New York Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo, has written three of these kind of books. Having already inspired artwork, fashion designs and a dedicated tribe of fans (The Grisha Army), Bardugo's epic tale of love, loss and all-out war has left readers and YA book bloggers everywhere in a state of post-trilogy stupor. The Grisha Trilogy, consisting of three books Shadow&Bone, Siege&Storm and Ruin&Rising has also left a strong impression upon me, as an aspiring author, and made me eager to find out more about Leigh, and why she decided to write the trilogy in the first place.
1) How did you find inspiration to write The Grisha Trilogy?
The idea for the trilogy really began with a question: what if darkness was a place? That idea led to a lot of other questions: what if the monsters that you imagine there were real and you had to fight them on their territory? What kind of power would it take to create such a place? What kind of power would it take to destroy it? And all of those ideas contributed to the creation of the Shadow Fold and everything else really arose from that initial inspiration. But I think there is a myth about books; that they come from a single idea, when in truth writing a novel doesn't require a single moment of inspiration it requires daily inspiration.
2) What is the best and worst thing about The Grisha Trilogy being a fandom?
Honestly, the best thing about it is that I get to see the enthusiasm of readers expressed in fan mixes, playlists, and edits and art. I get to see them connect with one another and see them share their enthusiasm for the books. The worst thing about it is when conflicts arise in that fandom, and I see people being unkind to each other over something I created.
3) Do you tend to form characters or a plot first?
It is really impossible for me to pull those two things apart.
4) Is it more fun creating villains or heroes? (I.e the Darkling or Mal/Alina?)
My villains are my heroes - they are just part of a different narrative: every character is a pleasure to create. Some are easier than others and some speak with louder voices, but once I get to know them I treasure them all.
You can buy the Trilogy here: http://www.leighbardugo.com/books/
You can view my review of Shadow&Bone and Siege&Storm here: http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/shadow-and-bone-siege-and-storm-by.html
You can enter the giveaway of the whole trilogy here, on my blog: http://delightfulbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/interview-with-leigh-bardugo-giveaway.html